06/5/17
sky clouds sunset

The Sky Tonight

The Sky Tonight; and It Is Not Even Monsoon Season Yet!

The sky tonight was reminiscent of Monsoon Season The monsoons are more than a month away. The wind was definitely blowing, but no rain fell in my part of town. But the clouds and the colors provided a spectacular end to the day. Those of you who read here regularly know the view from my back yard, looking west. I usually avoid photos in the front yard, because the “view” is basically of houses and driveways and parked cars. But the clouds and color to the northwest were spectacular enough to demand a photo. This is one of those evenings I long for an unobstructed view. Nevertheless, I remain grateful for what I do see here.

sky clouds sunset

Tonight’s Sky from the Back Yard

sky clouds cunset

Tonight’s Sky from the Front Yard

Colorful sunrises and sunsets are something we almost take for granted here. Monsoon season especially can provide spectacular skies. But even “ordinary” days here can end with a sunset like this one!

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05/27/17
ants

Standing in Ants in Corrales

Standing in Ants in Corrales

Standing in ants in Corrales is easy to do if you are the least bit distracted by scenery when you are out walking. Last weekend, after checking on the giant Dr Huey rosebush, Tim, Laurie, and I walked down to the Rio Grande, which is their front yard. The river was running quite high then.

Corrales

Laurie and Tim Looking Across the Rio Grande to the Sandias

We hadn’t been in that spot long when Tim and Laurie spotted something:

Corrales

What Do They See?

A short time later, we saw this:

Corrales

A Man in a Kayak!

It was a man in a kayak, and there were two other helpers on the bank. The story behind the encounter will be the subject of another post.

When everyone was safely out of the river, we headed back to Tim and Laurie’s. The sun through the cottonwoods in the bosque was beautiful:

Corrales

Setting Sun on the Bosque

Laurie and I were enjoying the beauty of the bosque, and Tim was ahead. He turned around to see what we were doing. “Lars, you’re standing in ants!!”

ants

Standing in Ants

It was not for long, and no harm was done.

Back on their deck, we were joined by Rosencrantz, one of their very sweet cats. He partially burrowed under my hat and stayed with us as we talked and ate, as always, delicious food.

Corrales

Rosencrantz

Photographic excursions in Corrales are full of surprises and delights. More in future posts…

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04/16/17
Bosque del Apache

Bosque del Apache 2014

Bosque del Apache 2014

Bosque del Apache 2014, flashback to a time when things seemed pretty perfect. I was updating software today, and came across images not seen for some time. I enjoyed looking at them, and decided to share a couple here.

Bosque del Apache

Sandhill Cranes, Late Afternoon, January 17, 2014

The following morning at dawn was warm by January standards. The temperature was 19°F, no wind to speak of, and I was dressed in layers. I thought that was sufficient. My two companions that weekend went back to the car shortly after we arrived at this spot. I thought it was too beautiful to leave, and I am glad I have the images. Several hours later when I was warm enough to think sensibly again, I realized that I really had become hypothermic. The next time I plan to be out at dawn some winter day at the Bosque, I’ll have on about ten more layers!

Bosque del Apache

Dawn at Bosque del Apache, January 18, 2014

These images reminded me not only of that weekend, but also how fortunate I am to live in “The Land of Enchantment.”

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06/8/15
middle rio grande valley

Middle Rio Grande Valley of New Mexico

Middle Rio Grande Valley of New Mexico

Middle Rio Grande Valley of New Mexico includes the river, the bosque, and metropolitan Albuquerque, Rio Rancho, Corrales, and others. While cities and villages are included, there are also many rural areas, even at times within the cities and villages. I spent yesterday with good friends exploring parts of the Corrales area I had never seen, ending the evening on their deck for wonderful food and great conversation.

These images are not spectacular in the sense of being in any way unusual. These are very typical images from a summer afternoon in the Middle Rio Grande Valley of New Mexico.

middle rio grande valley

Sandia Mountains looking across the Rio Grande, after a brief thundershower

middle rio grande valley

Typical scene in the rural portions of the Middle Rio Grande Valley

This area is known for its double rainbows. It is rare to see a single rainbow. If you look closely you will see that the main rainbow includes a double portion in at least the middle of the arc, while a portion of another bright rainbow is in the left of the image. It was a beautiful sky.

middle rio grande valley

Beautiful rainbows

When I got home last night, on the opposite side of the river, I found 1/2 inch of water in my rain gauge. The rain falling behind the rainbows was falling at my house!

It was a perfect ending to a beautiful – and typical – summer day in the Middle Rio Grande Valley!

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01/29/15
Abo

Visit Abo

Abo, Salinas Pueblo Missions National Monument

Abo is one of several old Spanish Mission ruins located in Salinas Pueblo Missions National Monument, New Mexico. I had been to Quarai several times, but I had not been to Abo until October of 2014.

Abo

Abo, Salinas Pueblo Missions National Monument, New Mexico.

October is a wonderful time in New Mexico for being out and exploring and seeing new places. The light was interesting all day long and at various locations. In the morning it was bright, and there were beautiful white clouds in the sky. Later in the afternoon, the clouds became darker and we did get a very small amount of rain.

Here at Abo, although the sky appears bright, there were heavy clouds that cast dark shadows over the ruin and location, giving it at times a rather spooky feeling of “old ghosts” that must be hanging around.

Salinas Pueblo Missions National Monument is a place I want to revisit in the spring. In particular, I would like to photograph Abo again at a different time of day. For those of you who live in New Mexico, the entire Monument is definitely worth a day trip. For those of you visiting New Mexico at some point, a side trip to this monument would be a nice addition to your trip.

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01/18/15
mountain

The Dark Side of the Mountains

The Dark Side of the Mountains
mountains

The Dark Side of the Mountains

Mountains and light – ever changing and with the interplay being part of the magic of New Mexico, “Land of Enchantment.”

On a glorious day in October of 2014, friends Laurie and Tim, along with my mom, spent a day exploring parts of New Mexico we had not seen in some time. Tim and I were both celebrating a birthday, and the trip itself provided many wonderful birthday surprises.

All day long we saw clouds. Some were big, bright, white puffy clouds against a brilliant blue sky. Some were dark storm clouds. And then there were these clouds that produced some shadows but allowed (and created) rays of light at various points. It was late afternoon, and we were on the east side of these mountains on the journey back to Albuquerque. The mountains from our vantage point would have been in shade, even had there not been clouds.

As we rounded a curve, the rays appeared, ever-so-briefly. We stopped for photographs, and actually had a “rural New Mexico” moment when we met another couple.

Many images from that day had a special meaning to me from the moment they were created. Less than a month later my calm, routine life was shaken by a seismic event that has given some of those images an even more special meaning. This image is one of them.

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01/15/15
Fog

Fog in the Caldera

Fog in the Caldera
Fog

Foggy Morning at the Valles Caldera on the Autumnal Equinox

The Valles Caldera National Preserve is a national treasure in the heart of the Jemez Mountains of New Mexico. The caldera itself is a 13.7 mile wide volcanic caldera. The area has had many uses over the years, including ranching, movie set, and year-round recreational use now.

In 2013 we were fortunate to be able to purchase a pass for one day, which turned out to be the Autumnal Equinox, to drive through the caldera on designated roads at our leisure.

The day before, we encountered a heavy rainstorm right at the entrance to the caldera. So, I was expecting mud the following day. That night, though, there was a spectacular sunset viewed in all directions from Los Alamos, which sits on the edge of a mesa. Silly photographer – I did not have my camera with me at that moment, because we had gone out to dinner and my companions were a bit tired of being dragged hither and yon by someone with a camera. It was my own fault. I’ve learned the best images appear when I don’t have a camera with me. But, I do remember the vivid and amazing views at sunset that evening.

The following morning, we encountered a lot of fog in Los Alamos itself. Once we got to the edge of the caldera, we could see that the entire caldera was filled with fog. At that point, my companions were yelling at me to pull over and take a picture. Nice thought, but the heavy rains had resulted in some mudslides onto the highway, and road clearing equipment and men were out working to clear the highway. There was no safe place to stop.

The caldera of course, remained shrouded in fog as we entered the preserve and drove to the staging area to wait our turn. The fog began to lift just as we began our journey through the caldera. We were rerouted at some points because the roads had washed out the night before, and because of all the mud, I was glad I had all wheel drive.

The day itself was beautiful!

Here in New Mexico, we do not see fog too often. It lifted quickly that morning.

But, I hope this image gives you some idea of the beauty of the caldera, and its beauty with fog (and, our gorgeous blue skies, even with fog).

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12/28/14
Abandoned

Abandoned

Abandoned
Abandoned

Abandoned – not adobe! – in the Rio Grande Valley of New Mexico

Readers here over the years know that I have had an ongoing project recording adobe structures in New Mexico. This often includes abandoned and decaying structures, as well as some of the beautifully maintained adobe structures. Adobe is the building material one thinks of when considering the traditional construction material of Twentieth Century (and earlier) New Mexico. Those of you who read here also know that I love adobe.

Driving around New Mexico, both in rural and in urban areas, you will see a lot of accumulated “junk,” such as old cars to name but one type.

On a beautiful autumn day in the Rio Grande Valley of New Mexico I was photographing a beautiful landscape. These structures were just out of the landscape scene, but I found them interesting. So I photographed them as well. Although they appeared abandoned, I will say I did not want to get much closer, just in case they were being used for something I did not want to know about. After all, this is New Mexico.

The image itself lent itself to some post processing techniques not typical for me. I hope you enjoy the image.

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11/24/14
road less traveled

The Road Less Traveled

The Road Less Traveled – Off the Beaten Path in New Mexico

The Road Less Traveled

“New Mexico, Land of Enchantment.” So true. It is true even if you are in a city such as Albuquerque, or off the beaten path. If you must travel Interstate 40 or Interstate 25, you will see beauty all around: the desert, the mountains, the river valleys, the sky, the clouds… Beauty is everywhere in this state.

But, the road less traveled, whatever that is for any individual, perhaps offers the greatest chance to enjoy the beauty, to be “enchanted.”

road less traveled

Autumn Beauty in New Mexico on the Road Less Traveled

On this particular day in October, my mom, along with our friends Tim and Laurie, were celebrating together Tim’s birthday and my birthday. We do “photographic excursions” periodically, and on this day the only thing we particularly set out to do was see if many sandhill cranes had yet arrived in Rio Grande Valley south of Albuquerque on their annual migration route. We wanted to check at one place in particular, but, other than that, the day was free to go wherever we felt like going. We took Interstate 25 south out of Albuquerque, but soon found ourselves more content on the road less traveled.

I missed a turn right after exiting the interstate, and we found ourselves crossing the Rio Grande and going on a bit. When I turned around to head back to the “other” road less traveled, this was the landscape that greeted us. Tim photographed, Laurie sketched, I photographed, and my mom enjoyed the scenery.

This wonderful landscape with the golden cottonwoods in the Rio Grande Valley, the mountains, the sky, the clouds, and a glimpse of the road less traveled was an auspicious beginning to a day filled with enchantment! Watch for more images from that day on this blog.

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